Home System list Explained: Maharashtra TFW Scam, Malpractices in Other Recruitment Examinations and Next

Explained: Maharashtra TFW Scam, Malpractices in Other Recruitment Examinations and Next

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Saturday, the Pune city police arrested IAS officer on duty Sushil Khodwekar for his alleged involvement in professional misconduct related to the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) held in January 2020. Athletics Department.

His arrest of Thane is the latest breakthrough in the investigation into irregularities in the TFW, in which Pune police have claimed responsibility. the scores obtained by more than 7,800 candidates were increased by altering the assessment process.

What is TFW and why is it important?

The TET is an exam that tests teachers’ skills in maths, science and languages ​​and is mandated by the Right to Education (RTE) Act. Each state organizes its own TET and the Maharashtra TET (MAHATET) is organized annually by the Maharashtra State Council of Examination (MSCE), headquartered in Pune.

Maharashtra has applied the RTE Act since 2013, so the TFW was made mandatory for teacher appointments after that year. Any teacher recruited by the government after February 2013 must pass the TET to be eligible for employment, but those recruited before this deadline are exempt from the exam.

Apart from existing teachers, all prospective teachers in schools in Maharashtra – aided, unaided, permanently unaided lower primary (grades I to V) and upper primary (grades VI to VIII) – must take the TET. Applicants wishing to teach Classes I to V must appear for Paper I and those wishing to teach Classes VI to VIII must report for Paper II. Candidates who aspire to be teachers of classes I to VIII must appear for both paper I and paper II.

Candidates must score 60% to pass the exam, and the certificate of achievement is valid for seven years, after which teachers must retake the test. Teachers are also allowed to take the test in between if they wish to improve their scores.

Any applicant who has not passed the TET is not qualified to be hired as a teacher in a government, private, non-subsidized or self-funded school. A successful TFW candidate can apply for a permanent job as a teacher with higher pay and benefits, while non-TFW candidates are often forced to accept contract jobs with much lower pay.

Is TET difficult to eliminate?

The TET was first conducted on December 15, 2013, the results of which were announced in March 2014. Over 3.83 lakh applicants passed Test I and over 2.35 lakh appeared for the test II. Of these, only 16,285, or about 4.2%, passed Paper I, while 14,787, or 6.3%, passed Paper II.

Over the years, thousands of candidates have taken this test and the passing percentage has remained in the single digits each time. In 2017, for example, 7,445 out of 1.7 lakh applicants passed Paper I while 2,928 out of 1.27 lakh passed Paper II.

In 2019, the last year the exams were held and the results reported, the passing percentage was 5.5% for Paper I and 4.4% for Paper II. Since the TET is mandatory for teacher recruitment, candidates are desperate to pass these tests.

Professional misconduct at the TET, other recruitment competitions

A review for the recruitment of Group D employees in the Public Health Department of Maharashtra was held statewide on October 31 last year. The Pune Police Cyber ​​Crime Unit has received information about a possible paper leak. During the preliminary investigation, the police confirmed the leaked paper and senior ministry officials were briefed on the matter accordingly.

On November 26, 2021, a First Information Report (FIR) was filed with the Pune City Police Cyber ​​Crime Police Station in relation to the paper leak. After this starting point of the investigation, the police unraveled the network of corrupt practices of high officials, touts and private actors.

As police began to get clues about corrupt practices in other reviews during their investigation, multiple teams were formed to look into each of these cases. Starting with the investigation of leaked papers among employees of group D of the health department, the police further uncovered the leaked papers issue in the recruitment of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), the 2020 and 2018 TET exams and a paper leak in the Health Directorate Group C recruitment process.

So far, these five investigations have seen up to 37 arrests, including those of current and past presidents of the MCSE, senior officials, intermediaries, private entities engaged in recruitment processes, owners of coaching courses and candidates. Assets worth Rs 7 crore hoarded illegally by these people were also confiscated.

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Latest developments of the probe

After the first consecutive arrests, investigations into these cases slowed down a bit because several police officers investigating the case, and even some of the arrested suspects, tested positive for Covid-19. Some key officers have even worked from home quarantine during this time. As officers have returned over the past month, the investigation into the case has once again gained momentum.

One of the latest discoveries made public by the police suggests that the scores obtained by no less than 7,880 candidates for the TFWs organized in 2018 and 2020 were increased by altering the evaluation process, either by manipulating the system of optical recognition of marks (OMRS), or by interfering directly with the note entry system.

From a hard drive recovered from one of the main suspects, the police obtained the actual marks obtained by the candidates and cross-referenced them with those indicated in the final results. This analysis gave the police a list of candidates with falsified marks. Police officials said that number may increase in the coming days and that they will submit a list of such candidates to the state government for action.

Another development in the case includes the arrest of IAS agent Sushil Khodwekar. The investigation revealed that Khodwekar was in contact with suspects arrested earlier in the case. In the request for Khodwekar to be sent to court, police said he had done everything possible to appoint the already arrested MSCE commissioner, Tukaram Supe, despite his blemished record. It is also alleged that Khodwekar asked Supe to remove a GA Software company from the list of blacklisted companies. Several company executives were also arrested.

And then ?

Officials said several communications were sent by the Pune city police to the state government about exactly how the documents were leaked and the review processes rigged. Some of these communications include detailed confidential reports.

“One of the key areas of the investigation is to try to establish how many of these 7,800 applicants are in the service, how exactly these many applicants were approached by intermediaries and what was the role played by the private coaching lessons, how did money exchange hands and, how flaws in the system were exploited and how far does the corruption go. The Pune police are in the process of submitting a detailed report to the government on the flaws in the system as well as on this list of candidates whose scores have been falsified. said a senior officer, who is part of the investigation.

Several senior officers overseeing recruitment scam investigations have said that serious flaws in recruitment processes have been successfully exploited by racketeers with insider help.

“There is an urgent need to make these processes technologically robust. Some of the systems don’t even have the basic checks and balances that exist for the SSC and HSC exams yet. The introduction of a biometric system, video monitoring and control and tighter controls with the agency that manages the examination process are the need of the hour. A leaked exam paper does not take long to spread and can jeopardize the entire recruitment process. Honest students are always the losers,” said one of the senior officers.

Another officer associated with the investigation claimed that the investigation does not have the full support of the administration.

“While investigative agencies will investigate the guilt of those involved in the case, there remains a larger question of accountability that remains unanswered. There is a dire lack of response from elected and elected officials to take corrective action after the series of scams that have come to light. Additionally, there are two entities that keep popping up these probes: private coaching courses and technology providers for these processes. There needs to be a mechanism to regulations for coaching courses and a better process for selecting and monitoring technology provider companies,” said this officer.